“I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I’ve never been able to believe it. I don’t believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Think about a time when you named something such as a pet, child, or even your car:
- The name meant something to you and described the object, animal, or person.
- You wanted people to be able to spell and pronounce the name.
- You wanted the name to be memorable.
Your blog’s name is the first thing someone will know about your site, so you’ve got to come up with something that sparks their interest, tells them what your site is about, and makes them remember you. No pressure, right?
If you know why you want to blog, what you’re going to blog about, and what kind of blog you’ll have, you may already have a name in mind. If not, it’s time to bust out your favorite brainstorming tools because your blog’s name has the potential to make or break you.
Tips for choosing your blog’s name
Think back to why you started your blog. What are your goals? What are you trying to offer? When I was brainstorming the name for this site, I came up with words like:
None of those words made it to the title of the site, but running those words through my brain helped me to eventually come up with Blast Off Blogging.
Think about how you want your blog to be seen. How do you want it to make people feel? This can be single words. When you think about how you DON’T want to be seen, what words come to mind? What are the antonyms of those words? For example, you probably don’t want your site to be seen as boring. What words are the opposite of boring?
Exciting, interesting, new, smart, unusual
What topics does your blog cover? What words are associated with those topics? For instance, if you want to start a food blog you may try words like:
Utensil, chew, yum, aroma, chef
What words or phrases are similar or related to the ones above?
Fork, chopstick, crunch, delicious, smell, bake
Now, how can you combine the words you came up with when you thought about how you want people to see your site and the words that describe your topics?
Make up a word by combining two words, taking letters away, or by adding something such as ly or er to an existing word. Think of sites like Flickr, Tumblr, Gizmodo, Vimeo – all made up words and all wildly popular.
Use your own name. If you have a common name, consider adding your middle initial or using a nickname. You may come across several Jennifer Smiths, but how many are JeniASmith?
Look at some of the words you’ve come up with spelled backwards or in different languages. In the food blog example above, one of the words we brainstormed was yum. Yum spelled backwards is muy which happens to mean very, quite or too in Spanish. This could expand your options for the simple three letter word.
Sound out a word, phrase, or your own initials. For example, my initials are NRP. Could I work with enarpe.com?
Still having trouble putting words together? Try using a name generator such as SpinXO.
Before registering that domain or reserving a name on Blogger…
When you’ve got some preliminary names picked out, see how they come across in domain or username format. A famous example is Pen Island. The site aims to sell “elegant writing instruments,” but are pens what you think of when you see a domain name of penisland.net?
Check social media networks to make sure the name you’d like to use isn’t taken.
Google the name to see what’s already associated with it and to get an idea of what could cause confusion with your site.
Make sure that someone else hasn’t trademarked the name you’d like to use.
Call up a friend and see what their reaction to the name is. Does the name give them the impression you want? Would they be able to recall and spell the name tomorrow?
Many veteran bloggers will tell you that they wish they had spent more time thinking about the name of their site. A few can even tell you about the difficult process of re-naming and re-branding. When it comes to your site name, do your due diligence now and you may save yourself heartburn later.